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Apple iPhone 5 4G LTE To Launch In China Next Year?

Tim Cook, the second in line to Steve Jobs and Apple's Chief Operating Officer, was apparently spotted yesterday at China Mobile's headquarters, possibly to discuss the future of the iPhone in China.

The mobile phone operator is the biggest in China (and possibly in the world when it comes to customer count). Since the iPhone 4 is already "end-of-line" and Cook is not your usual salesperson, one can expect that talks were centered around the forthcoming uber-important iPhone 5 launch instead.

As mentioned by MICgadget (opens in new tab), Wang Jianzhou the CEO of China Mobile, has already confirmed that the operator will begin commercial trials of 4G TD-LTE next year, although he stopped short of saying when the commercial deployment would take place.

Unlike the rest of the world. China uses its own version of CDMA, called TD-SCDMA. Cook's visit to China almost confirms that, like the N9, Apple will be a true global world phone supporting four GSM and five CDMA bands altogether.

This will also significantly boost the appeal of the iPhone 5 in the biggest mobile market in the world. This in turn might also send prices of the device at launch, rocketing, especially if, as we expect, demand will outstrip supply as it did last year.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.